Senator Kissel Supports Campaign Finance Reform Legislation

November 30, 2005

Lauds Governor Rell’s Leadership

State Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) today voted in favor of legislation that establishes a system of public financing for legislative and state-wide campaigns in Connecticut. The bill passed successfully through the State Senate earlier this afternoon. Senator Kissel also praised Governor Rell for her strong leadership on this issue throughout the process.

“I had the opportunity today to speak to Governor Rell personally and thanked her for her leadership on this and many other issues,” said Senator Kissel. “It was in large part due to her strong leadership and perseverance that we were able to pass this historic bill today.”

“There is little doubt that the political scandals in this state over the last several years have hurt the level of trust in public officials by certain residents of Connecticut. It has been determined that public financing of campaigns would go a long way towards erasing this perception so I am willing to go down that path and strongly support this legislation. If today’s bill rejuvenates the public trust in public service and the electoral process, then it has done a great service.”

Despite his support for the legislation, Senator Kissel pointed out a few areas in the bill that he hopes the General Assembly will further explore down the line.

“I am concerned that today’s bill puts more power back into the State Party Systems. State Parties can still accept significant money from Political Action Committees and then target particular races of their choosing,” said Senator Kissel. “I am also of the opinion that we need more transparency in the system so citizens can quickly and easily follow the path of the money being contributed and spent on elections.”

Senator Kissel also cited the effective date of the legislation as unfortunate.

“I also would have preferred that the law become effective immediately, rather than for the 2008 election cycle. If we want an even playing field for all candidates, we should establish it sooner rather than later. “Nonetheless, on balance the good in this bill far outweighs any shortcomings and I am honored to support this historic legislation,” stated Senator Kissel.

Senator Kissel is a Deputy Minority Leader and the Ranking Senator on the Judiciary Committee. He is serving his seventh term representing East Granby, Enfield, Granby, Somers, Suffield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.